On 30 Sept we asked Waverley BC what about Cranleigh Leisure Centre rebuild?  Waverley BC committed to investing in Cranleigh’s Leisure centre – in July 2018 – using money raised by taxing new developments as they are built (across the borough) 

They paid a consultancy company to produce a report. We don’t have the report but this is the company that produced it here

We asked what role can the public play in the future plans for Cranleigh Leisure centre; approval of the siting of the Cranleigh LC was again made a “published plan” item in September by the Executive…. but what consultation has there actually been apart from the presentation to Cranleigh Parish Councillors in the spring? We see no reference to the potential sites. What are the options for where it might be built? What consultations have taken place?

 Waverley had little to say – Any future plans regarding the leisure centre will be shared with the public when the project progresses.  Siting is largely led by land ownership and planning restrictions and the desire to keep the centre centrally located.  At present potential options have been viewed through these restrictions in consultation with Cranleigh Parish Council leisure working group. You can see the documents and latest statement here 

We went on to say – CCS would like to see  consultation with the community – WBC replied that something will be published very soon – the executive will decide by Jan 2020.

CCS has however been advised that the sites being reviewed are

  1. remodel of current site
  2. redevelop and enlarge current site
  3. new build in the adjacent car park

By the way – At a meeting of WBC on 5 November they agreed to a new The Communications and Engagement Strategy  – this “seeks to improve and modernise the Communications and Engagement service at the Council. It will require a significant shift in terms of operations, expectations, prioritisation and culture. When executed, it will not only provide better value for money for the Council, but will also help to improve relations with stakeholders by ensuring their views are heard and it will be vital in supporting the delivery and success of important council initiatives and priorities”.

Great to see that the current administration knows the Communications and Engagement isn’t good enough – but is deciding to ensure our views are heard enough?  We really need to have ways to show that local knowledge and views are genuinely understood, taken into account and explained back to the public – especially to show where our views have a positive impact on decision making that meets with the public’s approval.  If the aims include cutting the expensive delays and problems caused by people not understanding the council’s ways – there is a lot of work to be done!!